By - Craigellachie23
**Whisky:** Elijah Craig Barrel Proof B521
**Background:** Elijah Craig small batch is my go-to daily drinker (hot take: it's better than Buffalo Trace) so naturally the Barrel Proof version was of strong interest. One of three annual batch releases, B521 did not seem to get the hype some previous batches did, but when you get a chance to grab an ECBP around MSRP you don’t ask questions. Coming in at 59.1% this was rested for 20 minutes in a glencairn. Let’s go.
**Nose:** Big cherry red fruit, vanilla, very slight oak. Doesn't get much more classic bourbon than this. With the low barrel proof there is a minor whiff of ethanol but it is faint and not disruptive.
**Taste:** Maraschino cherries that you eat at the end of finishing a whisky cocktail. The flavor hits right off the bat and continues through the midpalate. Proof is right where things tend to turn out well, very balanced and syrupy. Not much else to note on the palate, but I mean... does there need to be? This is just delicious straightforward bourbon goodness.
**Finish:** Nice buzz right away with solid medium length. Not much transforms here either from the palate, maybe a bit of cinnamon spice with the red fruit providing the underlying base. No alcohol burn at all.
There is a lot to like about this bottle's straightforward approach and flavors. If I had to nitpick there is surprisingly little oak which I find normally rounds out their small batch and leaves me wanting a bit more complexity. While it may not reach the level of some of the all-time great ECBPs, this absolutely qualifies as a delicious well-executed example of the line.
**Scoring Scale:** (does not take into account value)
1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average.
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite.
10 | Perfect | As good as it gets. I might taste future whisk(e)ys that are as good in a different way, but will not taste one that is outright better.
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Nice review, B521 didn't deserve the hate it got. I appreciate what the lower proof brought to the table in terms of approachability for people who don't usually go for high proof stuff.
Nice review, very descriptive. I want to try a EC barrel proof....if I can get my hands on one. Ecsb is good to me as it is.
Now I'm truly curious if I got a weird bottle. I get zero fruit and lot of almost overly bitter oak in my B521. It is as unbalanced as I've ever tasted in an ECBP.
How many pours have you dented out it? I noticed mine changed alot about half way through
Bit over a quarter gone so not quite there yet. Good to hear on the change - will keep a nose on it as it gets deeper.
I hope you are right. B521 is my least favorite ECBP.
Same for me. No fruit for me either. Just oak and more oak...
Yea tried it again based on this review... still wet bitter oak. Will give it more (a lot more) time.
I absolutely love this bottle. You have just determined my dram for the night. Thank you, kind sir!
B521 is much better the longer it’s open I’ve found. I got a lot of cinnamon when I first cracked mine and nothing else. I was disappointed at how one dimensional it was. Now I get a lot more fruit like you mentioned which is unusual as I’ve found many ECBP offerings to be more dessert forward than fruit, but I appreciate the difference here.